Arrests for Febuary 2009
These arrests were made possible through the cooperation of the Frauds Bureau, law enforcement, the insurance industry and the public.
To report suspected incidents of insurance fraud, call 1-888-FRAUDNY
Megan Decker, a Sullivan County waitress, was sentenced on 2/2/09 to three years’ probation and a fine of $205 and ordered to pay $5,203 in restitution to the State Insurance Fund. She was arrested on 6/26/08 for fraudulently collecting workers’ compensation benefits. During the benefit period, she submitted four Work Activity Reports to the Fund stating that she was not working when in fact she was employed at a local diner. The Frauds Bureau and the State Police pooled resources in this investigation. Savings to the Fund totaled $21,720.
After a six-week trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Dr. Alexander Rozenberg and his clinic, AR Medical Art, were convicted on 2/20/09 of numerous charges. The doctor was found guilty of insurance fraud in the 5th degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree. The clinic was found guilty of scheme to defraud in the 1st degree, insurance fraud in the 5th degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree. Evidence showed that Rozenberg and his clinic purported to treat people injured in real and staged accidents in a complex scheme to defraud no-fault insurers. ”Steerers” referred accident victims to the clinic where Rozenberg falsely diagnosed injuries, provided unnecessary medical treatments and prescribed costly medical equipment. The convictions were the result of a 20-month joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad in which 20 defendants were charged in the scheme.
- STAGED ACCIDENT
Arrested on 2/26/09
Charged with insurance fraud, falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing
The defendant in this case was arrested for his part in a fraud scam involving identity theft and caused/staged accidents. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the NYPD’s Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service found evidence indicating that he registered and insured a vehicle in another person’s name and subsequently used the vehicle in a staged accident.
- EIGHT HOURS LATE
Arrested on 2/25/09
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd and 4th degrees, insurance fraud in the 3rd and 4th degrees, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and falsely reporting an incident in the 3rd degree
The defendant in this case reported to the NYPD that his car had been stolen from a location where he had left it parked at 9:30 p.m. on 11/25/08. He subsequently filed a claim with Travelers Insurance Company for the loss. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD revealed that the allegedly stolen vehicle was recovered in Pennsylvania on 11/25/08 at 1:30 p.m., some eight hours prior to the theft report.
- DERELICT AUTO
Arrested on 2/24/09
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, offering a false written statement, offering a false sworn statement and falsely reporting an incident
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Investigations resulted in the arrest of a Queens woman who falsely reported to the NYPD and her insurance carrier that she had parked, secured and last seen her 2005 Dodge Magnum at 6:00 p.m. on 8/22/08. She further reported that when she returned to the location on 8/23/08 between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., the car was missing. However, investigators found that at 8:50 p.m. on 8/21/08, FDNY units responded to a fire involving a vehicle identified as the Dodge Magnum reported stolen by the defendant and owned by the defendant’s husband. Investigators contacted the New York City Department of Sanitation’s Derelict Auto Program and learned that on 8/22/08 at 12:56 p.m., the vehicle was tagged for removal from public view. The car was removed on 8/25/08.
- AUTO ARSON
Arrested on 2/23/09
Charged with attempted grand larceny in the 3rd degree, falsely reporting an incident and making a false statement
An upstate man reported to the police and to his insurer in January 2007 that his car had been stolen. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office and the Broome County Fire Investigation Bureau revealed that the car was discovered on fire in the Town of Chenango. That fire was ruled an arson.
- DRUG EXCHANGE
Arrested on 2/19/09
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and offering a false written statement
The suspect in this case reported to the NYPD and his insurer that his 2009 Lexus SUV had been stolen. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD found evidence indicating that the suspect lent the car to a person he knew in exchange for narcotics.
- FRAUDULENT CERTIFICATE
Arrested on 2/18/09
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the 2nd degree
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Insurance Fund led to the arrest of a Westchester man accused of presenting a forged Certificate of Insurance to a building contractor as evidence that he had the required workers’ compensation insurance coverage, when in fact no such coverage was in place. According to the Fund, the premium for such coverage totaled $750.
- NOT IN THE ARMY
Arrested on 2/17/09
Charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and insurance fraud in the 4th degree
The defendant in this case reported to the police that he was the driver of a vehicle involved in a one-car accident on 7/26/07. He subsequently filed a claim for lost wages with GMAC Insurance Company under his no-fault coverage, stating he was unable to continue his employment with the Utica Salvation Army. As part of the fraudulent claim, he submitted forged/altered prescriptions and a forged affidavit in the name of the supervisor of the Utica Salvation Army falsely stating that he was an employee. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Utica Police Department revealed that he had never been employed by the Salvation Army. As a result of the fraud, he collected $2,620 in benefits to which he was not entitled.
- HOME FIRE
Arrested on 2/17/09
Charged with wire fraud
A fire at the home of a Rochester woman on 6/15/07 caused severe damage. However, she did not have insurance for the property at the time of the fire. She allegedly applied for and was issued coverage on 6/16/07 and then faxed fraudulent documents to the insurer indicating that the fire had occurred on 6/16, the day the insurance coverage became effective. Investigators from the Frauds Bureau and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation that led to her arrest.
- FALSE REPORT
Arrested on 2/16/09
Charged with falsely reporting an incident in the 3rd degree
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD resulted in the arrest of a Staten Island man who was accused of falsely reporting an incident. Investigators found evidence indicating that the defendant took his mother’s car without her knowledge or consent and while driving, he struck a light pole. To avoid telling his mother about the accident, he reported the car stolen.
- FRAUDULENT BILLING
Arrested on 2/12/09
Charged with insurance fraud
A self-employed acupuncturist was arrested and charged with billing insurers for services never rendered. The Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad conducted the joint investigation that led to the arrest. Seven other defendants were previously arrested in connection with this case.
- SECOND TRY
Arrested on 2/11/09
Charged with insurance fraud
An investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the Suffolk County DA’s Office led to the arrest of a defendant who was charged with submitting a fraudulent receipt in support of a homeowners insurance claim. He filed a claim with Travelers Insurance Company for removal of a tree from his property and included an invoice for the service. However, evidence revealed that he submitted a forged invoice for the same service to another insurer in an effort to be reimbursed a second time.
Arrested on 2/11/09
Charged with grand larceny in the 4th degree and violation of the Workers’ Compensation Law
Following a work-related injury on 1/8/07, this defendant began collecting workers’ compensation benefits for neck and back injuries sustained in the accident. On 4/12/08 and 7/6/08, he submitted documents stating that he had not engaged in any work activity since the date of his accident. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau revealed that from 2/29/08 to 8/29/08, he was employed while he collected benefits. When confronted with the evidence, the defendant confessed to the fraud.
- BAR OWNER CAUGHT
Arrested on 2/10/09
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree and violations of the Workers’ Compensation Law
After sustaining a work-related injury on 12/13/06, the defendant was classified as totally disabled and began collecting workers’ compensation benefits. During the benefit period, she gave statements to The Hartford Insurance Company that she was not employed in any capacity. However, an investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Office of the Inspector General revealed that, according to New York State Liquor Authority records, she was the owner/operator of a sports bar in Schenectady. On 1/20/09, investigators went to the bar and interviewed the person in charge, the defendant’s husband. The stated purpose of the visit was the bar’s failure to have the required workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The husband confirmed that his wife owned the bar and helped out with its operation when he was busy or tending to other matters. He stated that the couple’s daughter-in-law also worked at the bar and he did not think the business required workers’ compensation coverage. He provided the investigators with a sworn statement attesting to that information. On 1/22/09, the investigators returned to the bar and interviewed the defendant, again inquiring about the absence of workers’ compensation insurance. The defendant gave a sworn statement to investigators admitting that she did not have coverage for her employees and that she did in fact work at the bar. As a result of her fraud, from 11/7/08 through 2/3/09, she collected $2,839 to which she was not entitled.
- TASK FORCE AT WORK
Arrested on 2/10/09
Charged with arson in the 2nd degree
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and other members of the Rochester Arson Task Force resulted in the arrest of the defendant in this case. The charges stated that about 3:00 p.m. on 9/8/08, the defendant poured lighter fluid on the first floor of the single-family home of a neighbor and then set the house on fire. One person was in the house at the time but was not hurt. The defendant pleaded not guilty in Rochester City Court on 2/11/09.
- 63 AND COUNTING
Arrested on 2/6/09
Charged with offering a false written statement
A Queens man was arrested on 2/6/09, bringing to 63 the number of suspects arrested in this case. This defendant allegedly submitted fraudulent documentation to GEICO Insurance Company stating that he was injured in an auto accident when no injuries were incurred. The ring allegedly staged more than 40 auto accidents over a three-year period, targeting unsuspecting Asian drivers, who while backing out of a driveway or a parking lot, would be deliberately hit by a car full of passengers, all of whom were participants in the fraud. Occupants of the cars involved were then sent to the same Upper Manhattan medical clinic whose operators were knowing participants in the scheme. In fact, these operators allegedly paid “runners” up to $2,500 for each person referred to the clinic. The “patients” were also paid. Two corporations have also been charged in the scheme to defraud insurers of $1.6 million. The investigation was conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the Queens DA’s Office, the FBI, and the NYPD’s Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad, with the assistance of the National Insurance Crime Bureau and several insurance companies.
- FOUND IN THE BRONX
Arrested on 2/5/09
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd and 4th degrees, grand larceny in the 3rd and 4th degrees, falsifying business records and filing a false written statement
At 6:30 p.m. on 9/19/08, a West Caldwell, N.J., resident reported to the Belleville, N.J., Police Department that his car was stolen from a local street. He informed the police that he had parked the car at about 6:00 p.m. and when he returned 20 minutes later, it was gone. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD revealed that the car was recovered in an outdoor parking lot in The Bronx on 9/26/08 with the original keys. Investigators also recovered the parking stub which noted the entry date, 9/19/08, and time, 1:02 p.m., five hours before the defendant reported having seen the car.
- NOT ENTITLED
Arrested on 2/4/09
Charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree and committing a fraudulent practice under the Workers’ Compensation Law
A six-month investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the State Police and the State Insurance Fund’s Division of Confidential Investigations led to the arrest of an upstate man accused of fraudulently collecting workers’ compensation benefits. From 2005 through 2008, he submitted 13 Work Activity Reports to the Fund stating that he was not working in any capacity. However, investigators found that he owned and operated a fish hatchery and was taking an income from the business while collecting benefits to which he was not entitled.
- ALTERED VINS
Arrested on 2/3/09
Charged with four counts of illegal possession of a vehicle identification number
As a result of an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division, the defendant in this case was arrested on charges of possession of a vehicle with altered vehicle identification numbers affixed to it. He was previously arrested on 9/5/07 for enterprise corruption in connection with this case which is in Queens Criminal Court for prosecution.
- NO TRUST
Arrested on 2/3/09
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree and violation of the Workers’ Compensation Law
From 11/1/06 to 4/30/07, a construction company owned by the defendant in this case was sub-contracted by a realty company to perform a demolition job on Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County. A constructive trust was created to which the realty company contributed money. The construction company’s employees were the beneficiaries of the trust. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau found evidence that the construction company’s owner diverted more than $3,000 from the trust to persons and vendors unrelated to the demolition project. In addition, from 10/13/06 to 12/31/07, he failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage for his employees as required by New York State law.
- FORGED TITLE
Arrested on 1/20/09
Charged with insurance fraud, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records
An Ossining, N.Y., woman purchased auto insurance via the Internet for a car owned by her nephew. Two days later, she reported the vehicle stolen. She then obtained the vehicle title and allegedly forged her nephew’s signature. However, when she submitted the title to the DMV, the forgery was discovered. Her arrest was the result of an investigation by the DMV and the State Police, with the assistance of the Frauds Bureau.
- BROKER FRAUD
Arrested on 1/8/09
Charged with insurance fraud and signing a false written statement
A licensed insurance broker was arrested on charges that she filed a fraudulent claim with New York Mutual Insurance Company regarding furniture and other items that she alleged were destroyed or stolen by a couple who were renting her home. An inventory of the items listed in the claim totaled $75,619. Investigators from the Frauds Bureau and the State Police learned that the defendant had an agreement with the couple to rent the property and purchase some of the furniture. The defendant first reported to her insurer that the furniture was at the home, but later changed her story, stating the furniture was in storage. During a second interview, the defendant admitted to inflating the value of the claim. She also admitted that her furniture was not in storage. In order to be reimbursed for the alleged loss, the furniture had to be either in her home or in storage. Moreover, once the insurer learned that she was renting the home, she could no longer claim the property on her homeowners policy.